AUG: +151,000 jobs. Unemployment rate steady at 4.9%. AUG details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Is Behind This "Divide and Conquer"? Talking About Part-time Jobs..

If your hours are cut down to under thirty, you are supposed to blame it on Obama and the Democrats?  Oh Lordy.
Cartoon by Henry Payne was used by a TeaParty blog to trash Obama.

The following quote is from
a recent article published by NBC News about employers responding to the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.  It was published as an "investigation":

Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

"(Business owner) Goodridge said he’s cutting the hours of 50 workers to no more than 29 a week so he won’t trigger the provision in the new health care law that requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. The provision takes effect in 16 months."

"The provision takes effect in 16 months"  

Yes, that's right. Emphasis mine up there.. The employer mandate has been delayed a year, so all of these employers who are claiming they are cutting their employees' hours now due to Obamacare may perhaps be LYING to their employees.  For all we know, they are Republican supporters who want their employees to vote Republican in 2014 by blaming the Democrats for a decrease in their hours.  In particular, they may want to "punish" the people who are not well off financially, the minorities, the younger people, all of the people who tended to vote for Obama, by insinuating "See?  I have to cut your hours because you elected Obama."   That's not what they will tell their employees, but that's the message that they may be hoping to get across.

The woes of employees... .What should they know?

The story then highlighted a Subway employee working in Maine who told of his financial problems now, before the cutbacks.  There is no evidence that the reporter said to him:  "You know that your employer will not be working under this mandate until January 2015?  Why do you think he/she wants to cut your hours before that?"   

The Obama administration's response to the article was:

The White House dismisses such examples as "anecdotal." Jason Furman, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, said, “We are seeing no systematic evidence that the Affordable Care Act is having an adverse impact on job growth or the number of hours employees are working. … [S]ince the ACA became law, nearly 90 percent of the gain in employment has been in full-time positions.”

(The cartoon above was found at a Tea Party blog.  Apparently, the Tea People didn't get the irony or understand the cartoon:  "Minions" means "a servile dependent, follower, or underling.  The cartoon aptly describes the attitude of many employers towards their employees.  The Tea Party blog instead blames Obama:   

Thanks to the Obama jobs recovery program and Obamacare, we have become a nation of part-time workers. .. Thanks, Obama.  You have really screwed the United States....)

Have we really become a "nation of part-time workers since the ACA was passed?

Since the ACA was passed, in March 2010, there are 5,518,000 more people employed.  4,895,000 of those people are working full-time, considered 35 hours or more.  In the last year, 2,035,000 more people were employed, 1,612,000 of those people are working full-time.  In another measure that the BLS monitors, the average work week of production and non-supervisory workers in the private sector has increased about .3 hours a week (18 minutes) since ACA was passed.  In the past year, that number is down just about .1 hour a week (6 minutes).

Protests Needed

Employers have been talking about reducing employee's hours for over a year now, and it has harmed some of them due to public protests.  That is the correct response.. and that's where the energies of such groups as the people who were former Occupy supporters should be aimed:  At making it clear to the public that these places of employment, instead of finding a way to treat their employees reasonably, as required by law, are instead threatening to cut their hours and their livelihoods.         

Divide and Conquer

My sense is that when such pro-worker's laws such as the minimum wage, overtime laws, OHSA, etc., went into effect legions of employers also threatened to layoff workers (or actually did layoff workers) blaming the Democratic-sponsored legislation.  This is typical divide-and-conquer stuff:  Tell the workers that people and legislation designed to help them, such as the minimum wage, ObamaCares, or other pro-worker and pro-human legislation, is going to result in their jobs or hours being cut.  Let the workers feel sorry and feel sympathy for the poor struggling employer who really WANTS to keep all of his people working full-time.. but the big nasty government with all of those Democrats (including Obama at the top) won't let him.  Oh boo hoo...  

1 comment:

  1. As usual ... you are awesome! I have been deeply disappointed in the lack of media attention to the history of the erosion of living wages AND benefits long before "Obamacare" Benefits and hours have been up and down it's always because of ACA. Good grief. We all lost jobs with pensions because of Obamacare too ~ didn't we?



I appreciate intelligent comments and questions, including those that are at odds with anything posted here. I have elected not to screen comments before they are published; however, any comments that are in any way insulting, caustic, or intentionally inflammatory will be deleted without notice. Spam will also be immediately deleted.